Welp, I have been off of work for the past two months and this morning I am walking into a new role at a new church. Sandals Church. I am anxious (if I am being honest) but I am excited beyond all get out. As I have been getting ready for this, been meeting, interviewing and praying, there are a few things in which I am committing to when beginning this new position.

Starting any new position in ministry, especially as a leader, could be awkward, both for you and the people you lead. Sometimes people come in with a huge splash, that is not my style.

Here are a few things I think are important when starting a new role in the first 2 months:

  1. Listen – I won’t lie, at first in ministry I did not do this well. It’s something I will still need to work on because people want to know that you’re listening. You’re also likely to hear plenty of good data that can help you discern what the next best steps for your church might be.
  2. Coffee – You can say lunch too. This could go hand in hand with number 1, but there is something about intentional with taking out your new staff, or new volunteers, or new students out for coffee and just get to know them. Get to know what gets them excited about the ministry. What things they think are going well. What things they are having a hard time with. I will be doing this with everyone I can in the first few months.
  3. History – Part of this listening and this coffee thing is learning the history of your ministry and the church. Even though you might be able to read up on it or go back in the archives online, there is nothing like hearing how people have been serving and hearing the history behind what you are stepping into. How did it get to this model? What have been successes in the past year? What have been some failures? Change isn’t nearly as scary for a church if it’s part of the church’s history. Unlock the history, and you’ll unlock a look into your future.
  4. Prayer – Philosophies can stay the same but models should not when it comes to ministry. When I was at my last church, after doing all the things we mentioned above, we went before God in prayer to come up with the best strategy to reach students for Jesus. What worked at my last church could work at this new one, but it also could not because it’s a different culture. After meetings, listening, learning history, then we can go in prayer to determine where God is leading you as the leader to go and cast the vision to your team…. then… it’s time to lead.

If you have a moment, pray for me. Pray that I stick to these things as I begin to learn this new church culture and learn… just learn.

To dive even more into this topic, check out this Episode of the Youth Ministry Hacks Podcast:

Episode 2: Hacks on Starting A New Position